'To Do ' Lists

pippi21January 14, 2012

Do any of you keep your "To Do" lists in a software program on your computer or manually keep it on paper?

I am trying to reduce the amount of paper clutter on my computer desk and I have a lot of small notes scattered.

I jot down things when I think of them. It is usually at the computer or in my bedroom when I'm reading a magazine or having a night of insomnia.

Somebody suggested creating a To Do List, using some of the software I have..not sure that would work..since I'm computer challenged.

I see organizing blogs where people make list and they show a line drawn through this item when they complete it..How do they do that?

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I don't know about what the bloggers are using (though micrososft Word and other word-processing programs usually have a "strike-through" key or option that will draw a line through text.)

I have a list on my computer but I rarely check it. Paper works best for me. Mine is broken down by room for indoors, and by front/back yard for outdoors.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 5:30PM
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I post them on a white board next to the coffee pot.

Computers are over-rated :)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 10:01PM
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Another question..I'm trying to compose a form for my own personal use..of Items that I no longer use or need that I want to give away to some charity..as I look around in my bedroom, I think of items that I could part with..I have no extra space to keep stuff until I am ready to take them to a Thrift shop or wait for a call from some of these charities.
What would you suggest would be a good title to use for this form? Here's what I've come up with so far:


Donations of useable items to charity

Charity donations list

Things to donate to charities

We've found this great Thrift shop operated by Humane Society of our county. Everything there is clean, well organized and reasonably priced. I took some things the other day and delivered it to their loading dock where they accept donations, got a receipt for it for income tax purposes, and drove around front and browsed the store, found a decorative sign that I can use in my sunroom, and hubby found 3 books to read. The sign looks like it might have come from Home Goods or Pottery Barn. Only $8

Clothing, I take to our local hospital thrift shop..I never give away any clothing that is torn or stained and everything I give away to any charity is recently laundered or dry cleaned.

This form is just for my own use so when I actually gather the items, I won't forget what I considered giving away during the wee hours of insomnia.

I recently donate some furniture pieces to Salvation Army and their people were very professional, and I will call them for some more items I want to give away. My husband explained to them that he couldn't move or lift the furniture as he had a fractured rib at that time.
Some of these charities want you to have stuff outside your door in plastic bag with their name on it; their employees are not allowed to come inside. I understand that rule too but Sometimes you get the stuff together(example:clothing), put it outside your door and they never show up. I don't give to those charities anymore.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:10AM
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I have tried the computer to-do lists, both just a Word doc and special software for lists. I tend to forget about them, because it's so easy not to see them.

But then I have the same problem as the OP, with lots of little pieces of paper floating around.

What has worked for me is getting a small spiral-bound notebook and writing absolutely everything in there. To-do lists, shopping lists, groceries I'm running out of lists, phone messages, reminders, you name it. The notebook "lives" in a special spot right under my computer monitor and it never leaves. When I head to the supermarket, I rip the page with the shopping list out of the notebook.

It took a bit of discipline to keep the notebook in one place and to remember to go to my desk whenever I needed to jot something down, but now it is second nature. The notebook eliminates the need for separate, tiny pieces of paper that get lost or buried on my desk. And I can look back a few weeks or months to check on phone messages, etc.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I found such a spiral notebook that is wide ruled(couldn't do without lines to write on)It's a 5 subject(200 sheets, with 8 pockets. I've set aside a section for decorating ideas, flower gardening and my intentions were to make a tab for organizing also, but don't find it, but find some pages that I have written tips from organizing blogs, websites that appeal to me. I will make a tab for it tomorrow or this week for sure. Won't get home today until about 7 pm..church and several another function to attend this afternoon.

If I can discipline myself to stop scribbling on these tiny piece of paper for jotting notes..that's part of my battle to control clutter. I have an online subscription to Ancestry.com and my brother asks me to look up stuff for him, so I write it down on small notes/empty envelopes then retype that same information for him..keeping the notes just in case I need to refer back to it, so I don't have to do it all over again. He's 85 and genealogy research is his passion and right now he's working on a project recording graveyard information/background on those buried there. Some stuff he can find locally and by talking to relatives of the deceased. Notes to myself about other subjects.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:42AM
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I too keep a spiral notebook under my computer. Unfortunately it's downstairs so my grocery lists aren't incorporated in it, but I keep a list under a magnet on the side of the fridge. I'd been living in a sea of paper that I lose scraps of and can't find what I need, and this notebook is a huge improvement. Like camlan's notebook, mine never leaves its spot; I cross off completed items and tear out the pages when everything is finished. I have a separate calendar book (Daytimer) that I keep upstairs for appointments, since I have a lot of meetings, etc. I no longer worry as much as I did about wasing a little paper; if I'm at my computer and a call comes in for an appointment, I put it on a separate tiny notepad I have, tear out the page, take it upstairs on my next trip up, and put it in the calendar.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:39AM
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And, pippi, I don't think it matters a whit what you title you give your "donations" list. Perhaps, like me, you spend too much time thinking about how to perfectly organize things and then the actual organization doesn't get done. There's no use having things sorted out with appropriate titles, etc., if you never look at them. Be sure to use what you've worked so hard to organize! (I'm speaking from experience, of course.)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:44AM
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"I'm trying to compose a form for my own personal use..of Items that I no longer use or need that I want to give away to some charity."

Why bother with a list?

Simply pick up the items you no longer use or need and put it in a box.
When the box is full, take it to the donation center of your choice.

No paper involved.
No procrastination.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 11:37AM
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This is one arena where I prefer to handwrite something, and cross off, or check etc.

If you have microsoft office, there is a todo list included with outlook, and it follows the pages of the calendar if you format to keep the todo list up with it.

I also tend to keep a paper todo list with a paper calendar.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 12:55PM
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I probably make a lot of things harder on myself than needs to be..a lot of it is due to my ADD..at age 69..I am organized in my mind but actual organization isn't always there. All of you have been helpful. I ended up entitling my page Things to donate to charities..and took and cut a lined page and made one page..for myself. You're right, just get a box and start filling it, when it's full take it to the Thrift store..I just didn't want to make too many trips..cold weather and gas has jumped again the week.
I'm going searching for boxes Tuesday afternoon after bowling.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 2:33PM
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I'm a computer geek but it took forever to get used to an electronic "to do" list. Nothing beats the physical act of crossing off a handwritten item on a list. I'd even add things I'd already done so that I could cross them off! I also like neat lists, so I'd reorganize and recopy the list several times. In short, I'd rather mess with the list than do the chores.

You can easily keep a list in Microsoft Word or Excel. The strike-through is an option on the "Format" menu of either one. It isn't convenient so I quickly gave up on that. I use the highlight feature instead. Yellow is the default color but it's easy to choose something else. It's easy to move the items into a different order in either application. Microsoft Outlook (e-mail) has a to do list as well. I've never liked it.

I use Excel because it does math. I have the normal time required for each task next to it. That allows me to plan my time and schedule large tasks throughout the year rather than in clumps. The other thing about Excel is that you can have multiple sheets in a single workbook. I have many different kinds of lists in the same workbook file.

This only works because I use my computer daily anyway.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 2:46PM
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pippi, if you're donatng over a certain limit (I think it might be $500 total, not sure what the limit is, because DH does our actual taxes) and you want to claim a deduction on your taxes you'd want to take a picture of the items before you put them in the box. I do this and store the photos in our computer because we always have a lot of donations and when I start I'm not sure whether I'll exceed the limit for no-picture donating. All this is just in case you get audited, of course.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 4:15PM
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find a place like I did!

My local YWCA takes my donations and keeps track of what they actually sell for.
NO guessing on the value.
NO record keeping.

They send me an IRS-approved form every December with the sum total of my donated goods.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 5:54PM
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LuAnn..are you talking about monetary donations of money or do they have a yard sale or thrift stop where they sell items that people have donated? Just curious! You don't hear talk about YMCA OR YWCA much anymore.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Donations of clothing and household goods that they resell.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:09PM
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A quick note about donating clothing -- I don't pass along things that haven't been laundered/folded, either. But I read once that the stores can take any clothes that aren't fit for sale and sell them to a rag company. Luckily I don't have any clothes that are ripped or anything, but if there is a shirt with a deodorant stain or ring around the collar, I still include it. I do worry about giving the volunteers more stuff to sort through, but I'm sure they have a good system down. And I'd rather that they make money by selling stuff to a rag company than have it go in a landfill. Any old or tired linens and towels are donated to the animal shelter - they always need those things.
As far as to-do lists, I don't have a concrete system that always works. I have a "notes" feature on my phone and I like to type things into there. I did it the other day while reading a magazine in a waiting room - I wanted to look up something in an article so I wrote it into the notes. The trick is getting back to it soon enough that I remember what I wrote and what it means. :-) I sometimes duplicate my efforts of keeping track of things because I wind up writing them on my calendar at work and again at home. But that works well for me because writing things is a trigger for me.
Best of luck to everyone with making lists and making progress!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:01PM
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My YWCA thrift shop will not take anything in less than very good condition.

They do not sell anything to a rag company... nothing like than around here. They are so selective as the cost of trashing all the 'not fit for sale' got too high!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Dwysky -

You make a good point. I volunteer for two different charities. One is a giant twice a year tag sale. We take things that are not fit for sale and sell them as rags. The other charity - a thrift store throws away unfit clothing. I definitely think it pays to ask!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Our local hospital thrift shop resells donated goods but once a month, a truck comes from a Men's Mission in another county and they load them up with clothing and goods that have been around a longer period of time. What money they make goes into giving college scholorships for high school seniors and hospital employees who want to further their education. The Thrift shop is operated by volunteers who belong to the Ladies' auxiliary. Once a year, they sponsored a hugh outdoor picnic where they raise large sums of money. It is held the same day of the week each year and is well attended but there is certainly a lot of work to that function.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 9:34AM
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This makes me laugh. Every single morning my late Mom would have her cigarette and coffee and made a "to do" list. Hand-written in her Catholic school handwriting, all loopy and neat. It included simple things "Eat breakfast. Take shower". And more complex- clean out cedar chest, etc. She loved making that list and lining out things as they got done. I make lists in my head. My MIL had a notebook in which she listed her household chores. Her system obviously worked for her. She had the cleanest, neatest home I've ever been in.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:51AM
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